Reflections

& Musings

Carmela Ramaglia

Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Spade By Any Other Name

“No problem can be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it.” There is no other quote that so succinctly and profoundly describes how the paradigm shift offered by the Happy Calories Don’t Count® methodology truly and completely solves weight and body image problems. So I did a little research. After all, if I’m going to quote Einstein I want to make sure I do it correctly! And apparently, there is quite a lot of hubbub!!

The original text was in German, so the statement could also be translated as “the same kind of thinking” instead of the “same level of consciousness.” And this distinction is quite a sore point for some more of the “scientific” types claiming that this widely misquoted line only makes sense in a “book about yoga or Buddhism.”

So whether Einstein meant:

‘No problem’ (such as the null result of the Michaelson-Moreley experiment) ‘can be solved’ (understood) ‘by the same’ (re-application of the principles) ‘kind of thinking’ ‘that created it’

– or whether he was referring to a more metaphysical type of philosophy – the point from a Happy Calories®, Happy Exercise® perspective is the same: you will never truly be healed of your weight and body issues as long as you subscribe to the underlying paradigm that created them in the first place. Furthermore, a euphemistic change in vocabulary or focus is not necessarily a change in underlying core consciousness – or thinking.

I’ve already addressed the food issues at length in previous posts. We live in a society where the “diet and exercise” model reigns. This underlying core cultural belief sets up the idea that food comes with a “price” – exercise or weight gain. The names and euphemisms may change – eat better, eat whole foods, be healthy, etc. But at the end of the day, even a “structured meal plan,” or “healthy lifestyle” – without a change in underlying core consciousness – is still a diet.

The same is true for exercise. And since – in general – people tend to have fewer emotional and psychological triggers around exercise than food, exercise can serve as the point of illustration.

I’ve heard countless conversations in which people working through their weight and body issues try to “reframe” exercise by calling it something else. Instead of a “workout” – which sounds hard and ominous, they’ll call it “enjoyable movement” or “active fun.”

The “problem” most people have with exercise is not with the word “exercise.” The issue is that most people either resist and resent exercise because, culturally speaking, exercise is “the price” we must pay to eat – or people use exercise as a way to shame and punish their bodies (also based on the underlying cultural diet and exercise paradigm). The problem is not with the word “exercise.” The problem is how the activity is being understood and used within the person’s conceptual framework.

For example, a spade is a very useful tool. It can be used to dig irrigation trenches or holes for fence posts. And… it could be used to harm oneself. Of course, this sounds crazy, but one could engage in destructive and self-abusive behavior by hitting oneself with a spade. And you can call a spade a shovel all you want, but if the actual use of the spade/shovel is not changed – healing does not occur. If the spade/shovel is not used for its intended purpose, productive outcomes are not experienced.

Simply euphemistically changing names or expressions around diet and exercise does not create real healing and transformation. Healing and transformation come from changing the underlying paradigm – the underlying thinking – the underlying consciousness – that created the problem(s) in the first place.

Another example of a misplaced focus that does not address underlying issues is the prevalence of women’s empowerment movements and body image movements demanding that advertisers use more “real women” on magazine covers instead of Photoshopped models. The problem is not that advertisers use ultra thin models instead of “real” women. The problem is not that the models are then Photoshopped to be unrealistically and unattainably flawless. The problem is that women compare themselves to the images we see. It wouldn’t matter if all of the magazines in the world started using “real” women as models – women would still compare themselves to the other “real” women. The change in consciousness doesn’t come from changing the marketplace. The change in consciousness comes from how we engage and relate to the marketplace.

And this change in underlying core consciousness is reflected in the Happy Calories Don’t Count methodology. Happy Calories and Happy Exercise aren’t simply “happy” euphemisms to describe another way to diet and exercise. Happy Calories and Happy Exercise represent a model that is a complete and total paradigm shift for weight loss and wellbeing.

“Happy Calories Don’t Count” is a useful mantra that reminds us that we are not thinking about things and relating to food and exercise in terms of the traditional transaction-based model of diet and exercise. Rather we are embracing a relationship-based model of weight loss and wellbeing, with the primary relationship being between ourselves and our body. Food is not good. Food is not bad. Food is not our enemy. Food is not our friend. Food is simply a vehicle through which we express ourselves in relationship to our body. That is what “Happy Calories” is all about – a shift in the underlying framework.

The same is true for exercise. Exercise is not a penalty. It is not a punishment. Exercise has absolutely nothing at all to do with burning calories or losing weight (that’s the diet and exercise model talking). Exercise is a natural expression of Life Force through our physical being. Exercise is about connecting with our body and nurturing a relationship with our body. And in this context, any activity can be “Happy Exercise.”

Healing our weight and body issues is an important task. Our bodies are the vehicles through which we experience Life itself. So how we feel in and about our bodies directly impacts our quality of Life. It influences our personal relationships, our success at work, our finances, our general health, our peace of mind and our joy. And many of us are actively seeking to create better health and wellbeing for ourselves. But in order to create true and lasting healing, we must address – and change – our core consciousness. And the Happy Calories, Happy Exercise methodology is a way to do just that.

It IS About the Food – Until It’s Not

“It’s not about the food! It’s about all that unresolved emotional stuff.” This is pop-psychology 101 for anyone who’s ever read about or dealt with emotional eating or an eating disorder. In fact, this perspective is so cliché that it even prompted the creation of Happy Calories. (A Pilates client was – once again –… Continue Reading

The Power of Relaxing into Today

I don’t believe in magic. I know from first hand experience that there is always a gaff, a sleight of hand or some other trick. Magic is great for entertainment – but the metaphysical “magic” floating around the self-help and personal growth industries will do absolutely nothing to help you create the freedom, peace, happiness… Continue Reading

My Lips Are Not Sealed

Compliments are interesting things. There are the generic “you look nice today” or “great job!” compliments that feel good in the moment, but are quickly forgotten. And yet these same positive affirmations can also elicit a negative reaction when the compliment does not align with the current state of being of the recipient. There are… Continue Reading

Faith vs Fantasy

Faith versus fantasy. I’ve been pondering this idea for quite some time. What exactly is faith? And how is it different than fantasy? These questions fascinate me – and they are particularly relevant both in my work as an actress and in my work as a body image/weight loss coach. “Having faith” is a common… Continue Reading

I Want You to Want Me

Your body and I have a lot in common. I want you to want me. Call me naïve, but I want you to read the blog posts I publish and the newsletters I send out because they are from me – not because they have some snappy “hot headline.” Although I have to admit, I… Continue Reading

The Benefits of Bingeing

“Great! How are you??” That’s the socially acceptable answer when someone asks how you are. But when my good friends ask, I can share what’s really going on. “It’s January.” The winter bug-a-boos are a seasonal reality, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I cope with them by bingeing. It’s easier to forget that… Continue Reading

Dinner’s at 6:00

Trick or Treat! This is usually the time of year when I write about emotional eating – and why it’s actually good for you. This is the time of year when every magazine, blog and morning talk show features “experts” with “tips and tricks” to avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain – and when I… Continue Reading